Data encryption has been available on iPhones for some time, but it only existed as an option. The latest iPhones use unbreakable data encryption as a default setting, something that has caused a lot of controversy. Law enforcement agencies are claiming this is a dangerous development.
James Comey, director of the FBI, wants to open discussions with companies like Apple and Google to initiate a way in which law enforcement can access encrypted data. He believes encryption will eventually lead to serious security issues.
This debate will likely grow. Opponents of providing law enforcement agencies with a means to decrypt smartphone data argue that in many jurisdictions, people have the right not to incriminate themselves. They are legally permitted to remain silent, for example. Opponents see this as being similar to refusing to give police access to encrypted data on their iPhones.
In contrast, law enforcement agencies point out that other kinds of document and data storage can be examined by police when they apply for a search warrant. Suspects do not have to cooperate in pointing out to police where they may find information or documents, but they are not permitted to obstruct the police. Law enforcement agencies believe refusing to decrypt smartphone data amounts to obstruction.
It remains to be seen what will happen. Understandably, companies like Apple will defend the rights of people who buy iPhones and other technology to protect sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. IPhones are small, compact devices, which makes them vulnerable to theft or loss. Owners feel much happier when they know that all their data is safe.
We are likely to see legislation being introduced in many countries to deal with the issue. It’s unfortunate that the vast majority of iPhone users, who are law-abiding citizens, will get caught up in measures to undermine illegal activity.
As things stand at present, we advise iPhone owners to use data encryption. Anybody who feels any moral dilemma about going against the beliefs of law enforcement spokespersons should really have a clear conscience. All they have to do is give police access if and when they require it.
Remember, if you lose your decryption key, you will not be able to access your own data, and there is no way around this. However, you can bring your encrypted iPhone to our facility in Rochester MN, and we can make it usable again, but you will lose any data on it. As always, if you have any questions feel free to call us at 507-722-0110 or stop into our convenient location at 27 9th ST SE Rochester, MN 55904.
–Fast Phone Repair team